Months ago, I wrote two lines that would start and end an essay. The first was this:
Help isn’t coming.
The original piece was born of the frustration Jenga required of working in a creative field in 2022. Pushing against the endless rip-tide of Events Demanding Opinions by being aware that none of those events need another cishet white dude doing anything besides signal boosting voices that weren’t his own. The pressures of a new job that was brilliant, challengingly at the edge of my comfort zone. The sudden existential ‘…I’m sorry, what?’ of being paid (and well!) to do creative work full time and coming in from the freelance front lines. Unblinkingly staring down the misplaced guilt of that. Wondering if I was doing the ‘right’ sort of creative work, because every creative you know is convinced everything they do is why they can’t have nice things. Making plans, and being able to make plans for the first time in two years. Travel! The persistent weltzschmerz of watching Bigot Island continue to worsen. A not-gone-yet global pandemic. A war in Europe.
It was a lot. At times, too much. And it did not feel like help was coming at all. So I put the essay in a drawer, and got on with it.
It Can Be Here
Interstitials: The True Meaning of Christmas (Movies)
Playout: In the Meantime by Spacehog